Berani – “Cut And Taste” strikes an incredible balance of disparate elements

Berani is an electronic beat maker with a diverse sound spectrum and a tendency to produce bouncing rhythms or spacious and relaxing aural experiences. In a short time span, this emerging artist out of Byron Bay in Australia, has discerning music fans and casual listeners paying attention. The sound design throughout his latest single “Cut And Taste” is what we’ve come to expect from this creative top tier producer: popping percussion, basslines that melt like butter and a healthy dose of twisted horns to make everything bump in a soul-like fashion. Sprinkled around the track are sonic effects that keep

EsZ – “Liquor & Emotions” – introspective and emotional

Hip-hop has been cranking out bangers and high energy anthems for decades, but the average genre historian is well aware that dark or emotional thoughts on a chill backdrop is not a foreign concept for the game. After all, profound moodiness feels rather natural for a culture that grew out of urban plight and the trauma of purposely disenfranchised people. It makes sense that at least some mellow tunes in the genre, reflect deep-thinking speculation, in what artist EsZ, describes as thoughts on “life, growth and fake friends” in his track “Liquor & Emotions”. The song is a drunk text

Quad – “Love” embellishes each track with his personal revelations

Based in the south of Chicago, Quad started making music when he was around 14 years old and started taking it artistically seriously two years later. He produces, records, mixes and masters, using only a Blue Yeti microphone and FL Studios. So far Quad has written over 300 songs and released 1 EP, 1 Album and 8 singles. Currently training as an audio engineer at SAE University in Chicago, Quad explained that his latest album “Love” describes his personal understanding of the sentiment. The album “Love” was written and recorded over the course of 2 months after Quad was electrocuted

Acemattz & Bipha shine on “Tshanana”

Watching Acemattz & Bipha perform in any of their videos is like watching friends realize they’re onto something big time. They are accomplished rappers individually, on their own terms, and as collaborators, as a unit, their styles gel perfectly. They’re not just comfortable performing together—they are feeding off of each other, refusing to be one-upped, beaming and grinning and head-bobbing as they take turns impressing one another. By the end of each of their performances, their formation into a real show-stopping combination seems inevitable. In the new wave rap scene, there is plenty of talent to go around, Acemattz &

FuzzKill – “The Get Better” reaches all the expected heights!

FuzzKill is a four-piece rock band that started in Boston, MA. Introduced to one another through musical theatre, the band’s sound is firmly rooted in early 2000’s pop-punk influences. They released their debut studio album, “Happen”, in early 2019, and their sophomore album, “The Get Better”, just dropped on September 19th 2020. We have all heard the biggest punk bands of the 90’s and early 00’s. Their music mainly consisted of driving drums, distorted pop-punk guitar work and a set of memorable lyrics to go with the angst-filled high energy vocals. Today punk bands are a rarity, and any good

Dan Friese – ‘Jane Songs’ is something to be treasured!

Dan Friese is an Oregon-based songwriter, performer and multi-instrumentalist. In April of 2020, he released his debut EP, ‘Happiness’, a collection of self-reflective psychedelic indie-folk tracks. His first full-length effort, ‘Jane Songs’, was released on September 18th, and is available on all major platforms, along with the singles “Streetlight” and “I Can’t Say”. There’s a lot to appreciate on the new album, and Dan’s voice is arguably the most attractive aspect. Moreover, his vocals are often enhanced by inspiring songwriting and raw emotion, not to mention a wealth of down to earth acoustic guitar strumming. Dan Friese has an organic,

INTERVIEW: C.E.N. – the voice of the people

Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and currently a resident of Dallas, Texas, C.E.N’s natural proficiency over poetry allowed him to produce meaningful and profound lyrics. Although he initially took the initiative to become a music artist for fame and fortune, he later realized that all he desires as a musician is to be respected and valued for the art he brings to the table. His music is deep lyrically and spiritually. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started? C.E.N.: I was born in Oklahoma City, OK, and was raised in a

Hitrocker – “Project One” – breathtaking sound design!

Hitrocker is a German based producer who creates mainly within the EDM subgenres of House, Electro and Deep House. His first album, entitled “Project One” was released at the end of July, while “Project Two” is also out now. When I clicked on the playlist of “Project One”, I was met with song titles that were merely numbers – such as “Project 1.1” or “Project One.Four”. This falsely led me to expect generically themed instrumentals, simply meant to rock the dancefloor. Wrong. Well not totally. They do rock the dancefloor. But they also do a whole lot more. These are

Rashod Holmes Announces New Single ‘The One’

The soul singer relives how he met his wife and started his family on a tender new song. Rashod Holmes is known for bringing romance to life with his evocative voice, but he has never told as personal a story as the one he tells with his latest single. ‘The One’ is a true life love story that acknowledges the struggles and triumphs that go into building a long-lasting relationship. “I found the one for me” Rashod sings. “She is the girl of my dreams.” While Rashod is convinced that he has found the perfect partner, there is much more

Billy Ray Rock – “Get The Funk”- hitting up all the classic tenets of funk

Washington State Singer-Bassist, Billy Ray Rock, plays more than 10 instruments and produces and performs every instrument you hear in his music. From Rock to R&B and Dance, Billy delivers them all. His single “Get The Funk”, simply adds another delicious flavor to his sonic menu. His unearthly bass chops, resonant vocal wobble and inner funk DNA is scorching hot, while it straddles the genre’s trademark grooves. Blaring horns and slapping drums accompanies the party-styled adlibs, as the track treads its momentum. If you’re looking the glossy high-tech dance-club funk perpetuated by bands like Chromeo, then this is not the

Unintended Strangers – a glorious set of Christmas interpretations

What more can I say about the Indie/folk duo Unintended Strangers, comprised of Robert Griffin (U.S) and Chloe Danz (New Zealand) that hasn’t been said already? We know that they met over the internet by chance during November 2017, and that they’ve been composing, performing and releasing superlative music, without ever having met since then. Beautiful and contemplative, this is a musical collaboration that one comes across, once in a blue moon, and that one never tires of. Unintended Strangers, are such a talented duo that only seems to be getting better. Or rather, evolving, not getting better, since all their previous releases are just as excellent as the subsequent ones. There is such thoughtful lyricism, melody, and poignancy on their songs. A sense of melancholia pervades throughout their catalog, but of the uplifting, peace-in-occasional-solitude kind. Upon listening to Unintended Strangers, nature, the passage of time, the transient nature of relationships and our very existence comes to mind.

Now Unintended Strangers apply that sublime magical formula to 5 Christmas songs which will be released on an EP. The duo have decided to drop the songs, one per day from November 27 to Dec 1. The also smartly had kids draw up the cover art for each song, from which a winning artwork will be chosen on December 15, to represent the EP cover.

So what about the music? The caliber of songs are what you would expect from this kind of collection: From “Jingle Bells” and “Silent Night” to “December”, “Wintersong” and “Spirit of Christmas Past”. However the interpretations will delight and surprise.

Chloe and Robert both have wonderful voices independently and in harmony with each other. They are both also incredible musicians who make beautiful instrumental music that accompanies their vocals perfectly. Currently there is no better Indie-Folk duo around in my opinion.

The only musical experience better than listening to any of Unintended Strangers recordings, including this one, is seeing them in live performance, which seems impossible for the moment. I don’t know what the exact order of the songs will be on the EP, but as soon as I pressed play on “Jingle Bells”, the clichéd phrase “this is a hard act to follow”, just swooped into my mind.

All of the duo’s personal and intimate characteristics were indelibly stamped on the song. Gone was the up-tempo bluster and bombast, in its place a magical kind of melancholy beauty. The harmony between the two is captivating and eminently listenable; it’s easy to detect the seamless teamwork and understand why Unintended Strangers are so captivating.

Theirs is a crystalline clear sound like the oscillating snowflakes in a hushed forest. “Silent Night” is quiet and simple in structure, with a dominant piano and two voices in a style that steadily builds somewhere between soul, gospel and folk. Yet, it has a sneaky, deceptive emotional power which could bring you to your knees.

Unintended Strangers’ rendition of “December” – a track you might have heard performed by Norah Jones –  is as striking and eloquent as you’re expect it to be. Chloe Danz is just such a phenomenal singer, she is never in awe of anyone who might have performed a song before her.

Together Chloe and Robert know how these songs should be restructured, where to put the spaces, where to build, and where to change the dynamics. The confirmation of this statement comes when the duo interpret “Wintersong” – a track originally co-written and performed by the immense talents of Sarah McLachlan. Once again Unintended Strangers show immense patience in their work, never rushing towards a note, or overstepping any narrative bounds. The spaces are purposeful, the sounds connoting spirituality.

“Spirit of Christmas Past” is yet another glorious interpretation, of a song made famous by Enya. Unintended Strangers impose their own personal style and elevate the composition to transcendental heights.  For all we know, perhaps certain magic occurred during the recording where Robert Griffin and Chloe Danz were just telepathically in sync.

Unintended Strangers have successfully mastered the art of long-distance partnership. Partly because they’re seasoned instrumentalists and singers, and partly because, they’re obviously so open and honest with one another – and, therefore, their listeners. That’s the real spirit of Christmas!

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